A goal three minutes into added time at the end of a well-matched NW Counties League match robbed Padiham of a share of the points as Ashton sub Chris Baguley scored from a free kick.
It meant heartbreak for the Storks but joy for Ashton boss Steve Wilkes, who was making a return to his old Arbories haunt.
The Storks had taken the lead on 55 minutes when Bradley Cooke brought down Padiham sub Barry Shuttleworth in the 18-yard box and striker Sam Heap slammed home from the spot to make it 1-0.
Ashton survived some further pressure before equalising on 75 minutes when former Stork Lloyd Balazs sneaked into the box to score the leveller.
Both sides created further chances but it seemed they would be sharing the spoils before Baguely’s excellent free kick beat the wall and the despairing dive of keeper Josh Bootham.